"This collection provides a balanced, holistic perspective on the impact of religion on human behavior. It supplies all background material needed to understand the topics discussed, and although well documented, it is also well written and does not overwhelm the reader with historical detail. Highly recommended to historians, anthropologists, and interested general readers."
"McLoughlin has created an outstanding example of methodological and theoretical analysis of one of the most turbulent periods of Cherokee history. McLoughlin's ability to work with primary sources coupled with his extensive knowledge of the early-nineteenth-century Cherokee struggle for survival . . . reveals many crucial issues relevant to the study of other southeastern tribes."
"For the reader unacquainted with McLoughlin's larger works, the book is an ideal place to begin. And it will once again remind scholars of the important place that McLoughlin established for himself in his two decades of concentrated study of the Cherokees."
—Catholic Historical Review
"An extraordinarily nuanced and sensitive assessment of the process of acculturation among the Cherokees . . . Throughout this collection of essays, McLoughlin illustrates the unique results of a lifetime's work in both antebellum Protestantism and Cherokee history."
—Journal of Appalachian Studies
"For those who believe that human affairs are easy to comprehend or that history conforms to ideological dictates, The Cherokees and Christianity will make their heads swim. . . . McLoughlin describes both missions and tribes as all-too-human institutions, as being exceptionally complex and multifaceted, and as subject to culture, individual psychology, religious faith, chance, and above all, political power."
The first section of the book explores the reactions of the Cherokee to the inevitable clash between Christian missionaries and their own religious leaders, as well as their many and varied responses to slavery. In part two, McLoughlin explores the crucial problem of racism that divided the southern part of North America into red, white and black long before 1776 and considers the ways in which the Cherokees either adapted Christianity to their own needs or rejected it as inimical to their identity.
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